WXIN, July 29, 2019
The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market has been suspended for two weeks due to concerns about public safety, the City of Bloomington announced Monday.
The concerns stem from alleged ties between a vendor at the market and white nationalism.
“As Mayor, I have spoken for our city to condemn white nationalism and white supremacists as a scourge on our country and our community, and to promise that we will do all we can to overcome their legacies and any current efforts,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. “We also want to assure that everyone knows that all are welcome in our inclusive Bloomington, and that our Farmers’ Market will embody those values of inclusion and welcoming, as well as be a safe space for all to gather, as our community expects every Saturday.”
Bloomington cites the escalation of tension and conflict at the market, and the identification of threats of individuals with connections to past white nationalist violence, as having the potential for “future clashes.”
On Saturday morning, a protester was arrested for “holding a sign and pacing in front of a vendor booth.” Police say they were called to the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market and advised by staff from the Parks and Recreation Department that they wanted the officers to make contact with the protester to reiterate their requests for her to move to a designated protest area.
Officials say it is a longstanding practice that pamphleting or displaying signage is not permitted in the vendors’ area, and that the Parks and Recreation Department repeatedly informed the protester of this.